If you could dream something up, what would it be?

I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year celebration. I did not send a Monday Musing on Christmas Day. I hope you were as blessed as I was that weekend and had better things to do than read something from me.

Before Christmas, I was fortunate to see Mandy Harvey in concert. She was 18 years old when she lost her hearing due to an infection, and her hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter were smashed to pieces. During the concert, she told us about her despair and how she withdrew and isolated herself. Then she met someone who inspired her to pursue her dreams regardless of the walls that attempted to hold her back.

Mandy’s performance was amazing. She sings beautifully—songs she wrote and will never “hear”—and as she sings, she signs the words in a fluid dance that is as beautiful as the songs themselves. She overcame tragedy in her life and became what she dreamed she would be. Now, she is an inspiration to others.

Between Christmas and New Year’s my family went to see The Greatest Showman. (The title of this musing is a quote from the movie.) Anytime you get a chance to see Wolverine sing and dance, you should take it, but the show was truly captivating. The story of P.T. Barnum and the beginnings of his now world-famous “circus” brought me to tears a few times and had me singing along and almost dancing in my seat at others. P.T. Barnum started with nothing, and though he stumbled at times and had to learn some hard lessons, he and those he created a home for prevailed over heavy odds and a society that was heavily bigoted against them.

Both of these stories are about mission and vision. In each case, they had a clear vision for what they were creating and becoming, and they stayed true to their mission through difficult setbacks and hardships.

As we walk boldly into a new year, I challenge you to re-read our company’s vision. We tend to remember and focus on big-ticket items like diversification and sales levels, but there is so much more there. We have a vision for a community where each of us has opportunity, health, and respect. We imagine a future where we lead the world in safety and wellness. We have what others want, and they are asking us how to create the same culture in their organizations. This is the future we are working toward today.

I also challenge you to have a personal vision. The difference between a dead end and a detour is whether you have somewhere you are determined to be. What does the future look like if you are being your authentic self and are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy? What can you give to your spouse, your family, your friends, and your community?

What future do you see for yourself?

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